The relationship between ocean surface wind and current derivatives as observed by high-resolution Doppler scatterometry
Recent advances in radar remote sensing of surface currents and winds using Doppler scatterometry offer the possibility for making simultaneous observations of surface neutral winds (related to stress) and surface currents. In particular, the NASA/JPL DopplerScatt system is able to measure simultaneous surface winds and currents at kilometer scales, and thus provides an invaluable tool for examining these interactions. Here, we report on observations of the coupling between wind stress curl and surface current relative vorticity obtained over a significant range of ocean wind speeds and current conditions obtained over multiple years of DopplerScatt operations. We also demonstrate that, at these scales, surface current divergence shows a relationship with wind divergence, albeit at a lower correlation level.